Main content
Personal Finances
19th April 2010

Consumer Council welcomes Ulster Bank move to help stranded customers

The Consumer Council has welcomed Ulster Bank’s decision to help their customers stranded abroad by the volcanic ash.

Alison Donnelly from the Consumer Council said, “We commend Ulster Bank’s commitment to refund cash machine fees for foreign cash withdrawals on credit and debit cards.  This will be at least some comfort to those who have had no choice but to take out extra money to cover the unexpected costs of their lengthened stay abroad.  

“Consumers should contact their current account or credit card provider if they need help with accessing their cash or if they need emergency funds to cover expenses incurred because of the disruption.

“The Consumer Council appeals to banks and building societies to not profit from this situation.  We hope that all current account and credit card providers will be flexible with their customers who find themselves affected by this extraordinary situation.

“The Consumer Council is also advising passengers today to keep all receipts for cash withdrawals, hotels, meals and phone calls.  Passengers are entitled under EU regulations[a] to accommodation, meals and refreshments as well as two free phone calls or e-mails.  Even if they have to pay initially for these they should keep their receipts so they can be reimbursed.” 

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Paula Gunn, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or e-mail,
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
  3. For more information, visit our website at

[a]Passengers are entitled to assistance in terms of meals and refreshments, the value of which should be reasonable in relation to the delay experienced. If delayed overnight passengers will be entitled to accommodation if required. In addition to this passengers are entitled to two free telephone calls or e-mails.